If you’ve become deeply immersed in the world of YouTube as much as I have, “Our 2nd Life” (specifically Connor Franta) would be a name you would recognize. With over 2 million subscribers, Connor Franta has built up a fan base along with friends on O2L and has become well-respected and friendly among the other YouTubers.
Recently, Connor released his 100th video on O2L titled “A New Chapter”. The premise of the video was about him leaving the O2L channel because he felt that his content hasn’t been up to his expectations and it was unfair to put out half-assed videos because of his personal problems. He’s right. He sits down to make a 5 minute video every Monday, but that’s only 5 minutes out of 10,000+ minutes in a week so we don’t see what’s going out behind the camera. We don’t understand what’s going on outside the YouTube realm of these people’s lives. This goes for basically every single YouTuber out there. Yes, even those who do daily vlogging like the Shaytards.
What I wanted to talk about was something he said that his me particularly hard, which was that doing something you love should never become a chore. He states that he was not the same happy boy he once was when he first started making videos on YouTube, and it could be seen through the videos he has been putting out recently. It’s heartbreaking when you realize that something you once cared passionately about has become something that has become forced upon you. It’s never what anyone thinks about when they start developing a love for a hobby.
I can relate to this. I like to think of myself as a pretty happy, outgoing person, just like Connor. Growing up, I have always loved to play musical instruments. Ever since I picked up a recorder when I was 6, I was unstoppable. I taught myself how to play and begged my mom to sign videos out from the library and books that would help me improve. I went on to learn to play the piano, and ultimately audition and was accepted into a music major program for my high school years on the clarinet. I was self-taught for most of my life, meaning that I never really went to private lessons (besides piano, but then I stopped at the beginning of high school). I absolutely loved the idea of creating music with the people around me and performing in front of audiences from singing in choirs, to performing with concert bands and orchestra. I won quite a few awards and was chosen as section leader numerous times. As high school progressed and the music program became more vigorous, I found myself losing the passion I once had for music. Towards the end, I dreaded to go to rehearsal sometimes in fear of being criticized over and over again by some of my music teachers. On some bad days after rehearsal, I would sit in my room and cry because I couldn’t handle the pressure of balancing rehearsals, school, and my personal life at the same time. Something I once loved and looked forward to in my life has become something I feared. It was never what I wanted, and when I realized this, I lost a bit of sense in myself. I started to become really bitter and tried really hard to get that passion back. In the end, I decided that music was making me more depressed than it was making me happy, so I left that lifestyle behind after I finished high school.
From time to time, I get flashbacks of when music was the shining beacon of my life. Looking back and remembering the good times, I really do miss it. I miss the thrill of performing and being able to create an art with the people around me. I remember how happy, nervous, and excited I was performing in concerts, shows, and especially in Disney World (2009, highlight of my life). But I no longer want to go back to that lifestyle. Maybe one day, I’ll go back. But for now, I have found other things that make me happier.
Connor, I want to say that I respect your decision to leave O2L. When something you once loved to do starts becoming something you’re forced to do, it sucks. It’s not how you ever wanted it to play out. We never want what we find joy in doing to ever been something that overwhelms us. There’s a fine line between work and pleasure, and you just happened to be overcome by the both of them. It’s okay, it’s alright. You need time to yourself to re-spark the passion you once had. Your fans don’t EVER want to see you unhappy. If you find something else that’s going to make you happy, we’re going to support it. Love you!♥